Night time usage of smartphones is hindering children progress at school


Our children are back to school but instead of focusing on school subjects they are focusing on their smartphones…

Do you know that huge number of children are waking up at night and checking their smartphones? Some of them wake up with over 100 notifications from conversations happening overnight.  Almost half (45%) of young people are checking their mobile phones after they have gone to bed, a poll suggests. A survey of 2,750 11- to 18-year-olds found one in ten admitted checking their mobile phones for notifications at least 10 times a night. The poll was carried out by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference.

As a result, the pupils are coming to school tired and unable to concentrate. The general recommendation is to make sure pupils have “digital detox” – putting away mobile devices away for 90 minutes before lights-out or keeping them out of the bedroom. Still is this possible and how to take the phone away from your child in the event when you are not around and want to be sure that during an emergency the child can call you?

The good news is that some of the top parental control applications have already addresses the issue – Protect Your Kid, Kidslox, Family Time are some of them.

Protect Your Kid parental control applications provide the so called “Night mode”. Parents can configure night time settings so all apps and phone calls (excluding parents’ and emergency calls) are blocked. Rest assured knowing your child sleeps at night and will be in a good shape for the next day at school. The app is providing way more functionalities – parents could also configure periods during the day (class hours) when their children can’t use any social apps for example. Another great benefit of the app is that after the free trial you purchase one-time license with no hidden fees or charges.

All right then – is it that easy?

The short answer is NO. As a parent, you need to see the signs, acknowledge the problem, discuss it with your child and make the steps to resolve it. You need to openly discuss that overuse of smartphones is not doing any good but with sensible use technology can always be of help and on hand. Only then install Protect Your Kid app and let it do its work.


Weirdest Things Discovered Inside British Sofas – Bag of Dead Skin + Dead Hamster Make List  

You may not want to be eating when you read this……..

New research has revealed that the average British household cleans out the inside of their sofa an average of every four to five years, allowing plenty of time for nail clippings, food and more disgusting debris to accumulate underneath where they sit.

 The detritus discovered down the back of Britain’s sofas ranges from the usual suspects of small change and food crumbs to one or two unexpected scares, according to new research by an interiors brand.

 www.hillarys.co.uk carried out the survey of 2,394 British parents aged 18 and over, all of whom stated that they live with their partner and at least one child under the age of 11 years old.

 Initially, all respondents were asked ‘When was the last time that you cleaned out the inside of your sofa (i.e. down the back/sides)?’ to which the average response was revealed as ‘four to five years ago’. All respondents who said one year or more were then asked why they didn’t do it more often, to which the most common responses were ‘I forget to do it’ (39%) and ‘I only tend to do it when I lose something and end up searching through the sofa, which is not often’ (33%).

 All respondents were then asked what they had found down the back of their sofa when either feeling around or giving it a clean. When provided with a list of possible responses and told to select all that applied, the most commonly found items were:

  •  Small change – 65%
  • Finger and toe nails – 51%
  • Food crumbs and chunks – 47%
  • Clumps of pet fur – 31%
  • Empty food wrappers – 26%

What’s more, when asked to state the more unusual or disgusting things that they’d found down the back of their sofa, some of the weirdest discoveries stated by respondents were revealed as follows:

  • A deceased hamster that had gone missing one month earlier
  • Nokia 3210
  • Years old, uneaten chicken nuggets from a popular fast food chain
  • Multiple pieces of dried up, chewed gum
  • A bag of dead skin


According to the poll, 10% confessed that they regularly tucked things into their sofa to keep them safe or so as not to be found by people coming into the room, with one third of those (35%) admitting that they’d forgotten that they’d done this until a later date. 

 Additionally, more than a third (34%) of the relevant respondents stated that they had, at least once, caught their child trying to hide food items within the sofa that they didn’t wanted to eat. A further 15% stated that they’d caught their partner trying to put/hide disgusting items down the side/back of the sofa, such as nail clippings.

Tara Hall, spokesperson for www.hillarys.co.uk, said:

“Knowing the grim reality of what lurks down the back of Britain’s sofas is enough to put anyone off rooting around for a lost pound.”


Win a money can’t buy prize with LEGO® Friends and Toys R US – Become a LEGO® Designer and see your set in Heartlake City!

LEGO® Friends and Toys R US are running a great competition for Lego fans aged 6-12.

For the first time ever, The LEGO Group are giving children the chance to become a LEGO designer and create an awesome new set for the LEGO Friends range.  This money-can’t-buy prize will see the winning design being put into production and then going on sale at Toys R Us in the UK/Ire and LEGO Retail stores (global distributors may vary).  The chosen set will also include a minidoll of the young designer for that extra personal touch.

Lego and friend image

Let your imagination run wild
Heartlake City is the fictional home town of the 5 LEGO Friends, Stephanie, Olivia, Andrea, Emma and Mia.  The girls need a new place to hang out in Heartlake City, somewhere cool and fun, what should it be?   The designers in the LEGO Friends team need your help and imagination to design a new place to go.
Big or small, cosy, fun or crazy, you can build something inspired from current Heartlake City building sets, or something completely different – there is no limit to your imagination! 

In March 2017, The LEGO Friends team will select 20 semi-finalists, and from this shortlist the judging panel will then select 10 finalists before choosing the ultimate Grand Prize Winner on March 17th 2017.  The judging panel includes girl band L2M, Ellie V. – Youtube toy reviewer, Studio Bubble Tea – Youtube toy reviewers, Kristel Whitaker – fan of LEGO, and the LEGO Friends team.

The Grand Prize Winner will win a week-long trip for up to 4 people to the LEGO Group headquarters in Billund, Denmark, where they will engage closely with the LEGO Friends Design Team to turn their ideas into reality.
From the 26th December 2016 at 10:00am GMT to 28th of February 2017 at 3:00pm GMT, children aged 6 – 12 worldwide can enter the competition via http://www.lego.com/friends or the LEGO Friends Facebook app. 

How to Enter

1.    Create your inspirational concept model about a new social place in Heartlake City. You can use real life bricks or the LEGO Digital Designer software, that can be downloaded with no cost here: http://ldd.lego.com/
When designing your inspirational model, think about: how relevant is your inspirational model for fans of LEGO Friends? What does your set bring to the LEGO Friends range? Does your design look appealing and stand out? Don’t forget the little details – these can enhance your idea!

2.    Submit your entry via the competition website at LEGO.com/friendsdesigner or on Facebook via the LEGO Friends application. Upload 4 images of your model (these must show it from all angles), your product name and brief description outlining what inspired you.
Entrants must have their parents’ or legal guardians permission to go online to upload their creation. Collaborations between builders are not permitted for this competition. For full terms and conditions, restrictions and further information please visit http://www.LEGO.com/friendsdesigner  


Phil Neville on adjusting to life after football

Former Manchester United, Everton and England ace Phil Neville gives us an insight into the world of the professional athlete, and his domestic and culinary prowess

Following his recent revelation that he’d never made a cup of tea, we find out which other household chores got missed out on, in the life of a professional footballer.


Phil Neville faces our 90 second quickfire questions, revealing his contribution to domestic life, and his ambitions to master domestic life and gourmet cooking.

Click the video link below:


Bright to you by:




Breaks include Family Fun, Family Adventure, Gourmet Taste, City Treat, King Richard III and Glorious Heritage

The successful range of themed short breaks for visitors to Leicester and Leicestershire has been updated and extended for 2015. The new Stay Play Explore short breaks for couples and families include Family Fun, Family Adventure, City Treat, King Richard III, Gourmet Taste and Glorious Heritage.

The breaks provide individuals, couples and families with a choice of fantastic local visitor attractions and activities, and high quality accommodation. The breaks are £129 and offer savings of up to 40 per cent on standard admission and room rates. Highlights of the 2015 breaks include the return of the hugely successful Family Fun break, a new stylish City Treat offer and a King Richard III break to coincide with the reinterment of the King in Leicester in March 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 19.41.21

Co-ordinated by Leicester Shire Promotions, the Stay Play Explore breaks can be booked online at www.stayplayexplore.co.uk

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions said: “We’ve added more fantastic partners and experiences to provide great value breaks for couples and families looking for a fresh, inspiring destination to visit this year. We’ve also increased the capacity of the breaks in 2015 as they sold out on a few peak times last year including most school holidays. Consequently, we would advise booking early if you’re planning to visit at any peak times to avoid disappointment.”


KidAround has a new publisher!

There are exciting developments to report here at KidAround.

With immediate effect KidAround Magazine will be published by Trew Publishing Ltd, which is owned by Anna Hurley.  Anna has worked for KidAround as the Production Manager for 3 years and knows the business very well. She is already cracking on with the summer issue, which will be her first in charge.

Anna photoNew Publisher, Anna, has the following words for all our customers old and new:

“I want to express how excited and happy I am to be taking over the publication of KidAround magazine.

Please be assured that I will not be making any changes to the high quality or large distribution – you will still enjoy everything KidAround magazine has offered over the past 14 years.

Tracy has done a fantastic job building KidAround into the established name it is today and it is an honour to have the opportunity to continue to publish this magazine going forward. Being a mum myself, I know KidAround is every parent/grandparent/carers essential magazine.

I am very much looking forward to working with you all. Please do call  or email me if you have any queries”.

TracyOutgoing Publisher, Tracy, would like to say the following:

“As you will be aware, I have published KidAround for the past 14 years and worked with many of you for much of that time. I have now decided to move on and, luckily, Anna has stepped in and is taking over the brand and goodwill of KidAround from now onwards.

It has been a great pleasure and a privilege to work with you over the years. I am immensely proud of KidAround magazine and everything it has achieved and absolutely delighted that, thanks to Anna, it will be able to continue. The magazine could not be in better hands and I know Anna will do a terrific job and you will love working with her.

I will be working alongside Anna in a handover role for a while and then hope our paths may cross again in my new role at Piccolo Media – dealing with communications for small businesses.”

We are both really pleased and excited about these changes and look forward to working with our advertisers, stockists, editorial contributors and readers long into the future.

Posted by Tracy Thomas and Anna Hurley


Spring 2014 Issue Out Now!

KidAround-Cover_Spring-14NORTHWe are delighted with the new Spring issue of KidAround, which is out today.

As ever, it’s packed with loads of listings and information – where to go, who to call, what to do as a parent where YOU live.

Over 120,000 copies of the two editions of this issue will be distributed across Essex over the next week so you should get one home from school or nursery soon.KidAround-Cover_Spring-14SOUTH

If you can’t wait that long, you can read KidAround online at:

North Essex: http://issuu.com/kidaround-magazine/docs/north_essex_spring_2014

South Essex:  http://issuu.com/kidaround-magazine/docs/south_essex_spring_14_

Please don’t forget to visit our website http://www.kidaround.biz for updated listings, new competitions and more!


Posted by Tracy Thomas